Your adoptive mom is a narcissistic homophobe whose big concern when you disclosed that you’d been sexually abused by family members was how this would make other people think about her. You’ve since gone on to become an accomplished writer with friends in high places, but your family has always taken your mother’s twisted side over yours and made you feel terrible about yourself. How can you now live with aplomb in spite of your monstrous mom? We’ll try to find an answer to this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- You have a successful career and friends in high places, but how can you live your life with aplomb when you’ve been raised by a monstrous, narcissistic mom?
- You’re an older grad student who, you’ve just discovered, comes across as an arrogant know-it-all to your younger peers. Now you worry that you’ve become so unpopular that the university will ask you to withdraw for failure to mesh with the other students. How can you make this right?
- You have reservations about fully trusting your fiancé — who’s had over 150 sexual partners, and admits to cheating in a previous committed relationship. No stranger to the sting of being cheated on yourself, how can you move forward without feeling haunted by his past?
- Your new job is in jeopardy because of a recent depressive episode that left you incapacitated for weeks. While you’re working with a therapist and psychiatrist to get things under control, how can you explain what’s been going on to your new boss?
- Why are influencers all of a sudden promoting tourism to Saudi Arabia, and how can you sit with the moral dilemma about visiting countries actively committing human rights violations?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
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This Episode Is Sponsored By:
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Miss our conversation with accidental international poker champion and human motivation expert Maria Konnikova? Catch up with episode 371: Maria Konnikova | Pulling Off the Biggest Bluff here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Apolo Ohno | Embracing Change and Finding Purpose | Jordan Harbinger
- Ramy Romany | Unwrapping the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt | Jordan Harbinger
- Sarah Edmondson & Nippy Ames | Surviving NXIVM Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Sarah Edmondson & Nippy Ames | Surviving NXIVM Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Hell’s Kitchen | The Official Guide to New York City
- The L Word | Prime Video
- G.I. Jane | Prime Video
- Will & Grace | Prime Video
- Wendy Behary | Disarming the Narcissist | Jordan Harbinger
- Dr. Ramani | How to Protect Yourself from a Narcissist Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Dr. Ramani | How to Protect Yourself from a Narcissist Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Billy Madison | Prime Video
- “Perfect” Pastor is a Predatory Disaster | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Duana Welch | The Science of Jealousy and How to Manage It | Jordan Harbinger
- Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy: A Guide to Getting Over Your Partner’s Past and Finding Peace by Zachary Stockill | Amazon
- Year of the Mubble Fubbles: Celebrity Wordsmith Susie Dent on 2020 and Why Scots Is Best Dialect | The Sunday Post
- How to Deal and Fight Depression Naturally: 22 Things to Try | Healthline
- Influencers Face Criticism for Saudi Arabia Travel #Ads | The New York Times
- Laowhy86 | How the Chinese Social Credit Score System Works Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Laowhy86 | How the Chinese Social Credit Score System Works Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Nury Turkel | A Witness to China’s Uyghur Genocide | Jordan Harbinger
- Going to North Korea: Part One | Stereo Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Going to North Korea: Part Two | Stereo Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
785: Living with Aplomb in Spite of a Monstrous Mom | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to Nissan for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:04] Special thanks to US Bank for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:12] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, a guy whose new leather bracelet looks like he's, I don't know, nine months away from starting a yoga cult in Tulum, Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Nine. Yeah, more like six tops. Have you seen these things?
[00:00:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, we're like four bracelets. I thought you would've learned something from the Sarah and Nippy cult interview, but I guess not.
[00:00:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Look, it's not a cult if you're the one starting it.
[00:00:39] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:00:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay.
[00:00:41] Soundbite: It's going to be a no for me, dawg. [Randy Jackson]
[00:00:43] Jordan Harbinger: On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker so you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening even inside your own mind.
[00:01:08] Unless you're Gabe with this bracelet, there's just not sinking in for this guy.
[00:01:13] If you're new to the show, on Fridays, we give advice to you —
[00:01:16] Was that a gift from your sister? I'd feel bad if it was a gift from your mom or something.
[00:01:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: It was a Christmas gift.
[00:01:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:01:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: One of my really good friends gave this to me and she listens to the show, so I just want you to know—
[00:01:23] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, good.
[00:01:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: You really hurt her feelings, yeah.
[00:01:25] Jordan Harbinger: Sorry, sorry. It's not, it's not on — anyway, I'm just digging a hole.
[00:01:29] If you're new to the show, on Fridays, we give advice to you and answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews, conversations with a variety of amazing folks, from spies to CEOs, athletes to authors, thinkers to performers. This week we had Apolo Ohno, my new homeboy, Apolo Ohno, on being an Olympian mindset, motivation, routines, competition, even purpose and depression. Really good conversation with multi-gold-medal-winning Apolo Ohno and Ramy Romany on ancient Egypt pyramids, tombs, and a narrow escape from a revolution. Just killing it this week if I do say so myself. So make sure you've had a look and a listen to everything that we created for you here this week.
[00:02:07] Now, before we dive in, Gabe, I just remembered something funny from like 2006.
[00:02:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Great. Tell me.
[00:02:13] Jordan Harbinger: Back then, I lived in Hell's Kitchen, which I don't, I think they call it Clinton Hill now or something like that, but it's Hell's Kitchen. I lived in Hell's Kitchen with two lesbians for a while and the way I found a place on Craigslist and I didn't know what Aerobed was and I didn't know what railroad apartment room was. I didn't know any of these terms that they used for New York.
[00:02:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, what is Aerobed Air?
[00:02:34] Jordan Harbinger: It's an air mattress.
[00:02:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: But air-o-bed?
[00:02:37] Jordan Harbinger: They called it an Aerobed.
[00:02:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, A-E-R-O?
[00:02:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yes. Aerobed.
[00:02:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Got it. Okay. Like you thought it was going to be a proper room and it was just an air mattress?
[00:02:44] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And not only was it an air mattress, it was in the hallway between their bedroom and the kitchen, which it was one of those apartments that used to be someone's house who was wealthy and now was like 12 apartments.
[00:02:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:02:57] Jordan Harbinger: So they had a tiny bathroom, a hallway up a giant staircase, and then their bedroom. And another guy then also moved in and slept on this couch that was basically just in storage in the hallway because it was too small for anything else. And this guy was really tall, so what they did was they said, "Don't sleep on the couch. It's too uncomfortable." He had to sleep on the floor. There was no room for me to also sleep on the floor or the couch. So they let me sleep in their bedroom on the floor. And so—
[00:03:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: wait, wait, wait.
[00:03:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:03:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hold on. You moved into your roommate's bedroom?
[00:03:29] Jordan Harbinger: Correct. Yes.
[00:03:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. Yeah. How old are you at the time?
[00:03:32] Jordan Harbinger: I'm probably like 26. So you're just a little bit too old to do this kind of thing, but also too poor to—
[00:03:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Right on the line.
[00:03:38] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Yeah. Too poor to have any other options.
[00:03:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:03:40] Jordan Harbinger: Because I was like an intern at the law firm at the time. I was getting paid, but it was like I just didn't know how to find a place in New York. I don't want to pay a broker, blah, blah, blah.
[00:03:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay.
[00:03:49] Jordan Harbinger: So I'm sleeping in the room and they're like, "Hey, at night we watch TV, do you mind?" I'm like, "Of course not ". So they're watching The L Word, which is the show about lesbians. There was no show about gay people on TV, right?
[00:04:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:04:02] Jordan Harbinger: At all.
[00:04:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: That was the first big one.
[00:04:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:04:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally.
[00:04:04] Jordan Harbinger: And so I am watching this with two lesbians who live in New York, and I just had this amazing front-row seat to something I would never have experienced, anywhere else, probably in the whole world. And one of them looked like Demi Moore. And we would walk to the subway in the morning because I would be going downtown. She would be going to like Queens or whatever for her job. And everybody who saw her would be like, "Oh, it's G.I. Jane, hey." Or people would go, "I'm a huge fan. You're so amazing." She really was a dead ringer—
[00:04:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh wow.
[00:04:30] Jordan Harbinger: —for Demi Moore. And she also had that short hair and everything. And it was really funny because it really felt like walking with an A-list celebrity, people would stare, honk, run up to us. It was quite funny. But I also used to hear all of their intimate bedroom conversations, which was also quite educational. So they'd, of course, have these very normal couple conversations, but one of them was so similar to me in thinking that it was like she was reading my mind. You know when you hear somebody argue and you're like, "Where's my opinion on this matter?" Even if you don't know them?
[00:04:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, totally. Yeah.
[00:05:00] Jordan Harbinger: So I would listen to them whisper arguing and like they think I can't hear them or something, even though I'm literally right next to them on the floor. I'm like a foot away.
[00:05:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's crazy.
[00:05:10] Jordan Harbinger: Like if she rolled over to the edge of the bed and drooled, it would land on me. That's how close I was to these people.
[00:05:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's too close is what that is. Yeah.
[00:05:19] Jordan Harbinger: The one was just reading my mind in terms of what they would say in their arguments and conversations. And they were both working at these nonprofits. We were just from different planets, right?
[00:05:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, but that is amazing though.
[00:05:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:05:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like you're sitting there four, three and a half feet away from them while they're like, "Well, I didn't really appreciate the way you talked to me in the kitchen."
[00:05:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Oh, a hundred percent. Yeah, exactly.
[00:05:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: And you're like, "Well, what I would say is that, 'Well, I don't think you put the top back.'" like that's what I'm picturing it.
[00:05:43] Jordan Harbinger: It really was like that. And it's like, "Who cares if they take caps off the toothpaste? It doesn't try out. It's not a liquid. I mean, it kind is, but it's not really." Yeah, and I'm thinking, yeah, I mean, who cares? But also the other person who—
[00:05:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's a toothpaste. It could be gone soon.
[00:05:55] Jordan Harbinger: It was just so inter — and of course, I'm like, not during these conversations, but during the day or whatever, when I see them, I'm like, "Okay, I have a question. Da, da, da, da." Or they'd be like, "You can't — not to be all up in your business, but you're going out. Right? You shouldn't don't wear that lanyard name tag thing." I'm like, "Well, what do I do with it? I'm going to and from work." They're like, "You got to put it in your pocket. Don't wear a suit. It's cliche everybody sees through that. You're trying to date women, right? Straight women? This is not going to work for you." So it's funny because I had like coaching—
[00:06:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, that's funny.
[00:06:23] Jordan Harbinger: —from them as well. And we'd be in the bathroom. I'm brushing my teeth right next to them and stuff. I mean it was like I was this weird third wheel that didn't quite have all the benefits of a relationship.
[00:06:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: I feel like I've seen this sitcom before.
[00:06:35] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yeah.
[00:06:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: But I can't put my finger on it. It's great. Like single straight guy with two lesbian women in New York City.
[00:06:41] Jordan Harbinger: It's definitely—
[00:06:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Solid pitch.
[00:06:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's definitely like Will and Grace only. I'm Grace and also less, maybe a little bit less—
[00:06:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:06:49] Jordan Harbinger: —something than Debra Messing was. Anyway, the point of the story is if you can immerse yourself in a different culture by traveling abroad. Amazing. But we see letters where people are like, "Yeah, it looks really fun. I can never do this. I don't have enough money. I work two jobs that I'm not going to go live in Spain." You know, I've rented that place off Craigslist. And most of us aren't going to do something like that either. But I just recommend here in 2023, get into something, a new hobby, a new situation, a new town, a new friend group, whatever it is. Dip a toe in those waters and see what's what. Because you're going to learn a ton about that world and the people in it, both of which are really important.
[00:07:25] And I feel like experiences like this really opened me up. Living abroad, yes. But also doing something crazy like that, even for a couple of months. It keeps your brain nice and elastic, but it also just really opens you up to the world and the people in it. Because I think a lot of the political division we're seeing right now is because people go, "Well, if you don't think like me, it's because there's something wrong with you," and you don't really appreciate that different people have crazy different lifestyles and experiences.
[00:07:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:07:50] Jordan Harbinger: A truck driver who's living paycheck to paycheck and living in middle America, of course, they think differently than some tech guy in Menlo Park, obviously.
[00:07:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:07:59] Jordan Harbinger: But both of these people tend to think the other person, some kind of uneducated or ignorant jackass because they don't understand how the other type lives. For example, here in 2023, Jayden got four radio control cars for Christmas. Every single one of them broke within like 24 to 48 hours. Most of it was not our fault. One of them was I ran it into something in the wheel, fell off. So I go to the hobby shop, I buy a car for him. He's flipping loving it, and I go, this is fun. I play with it while he's gone. I go back to the hobby shop the next day and I buy myself a car because I'm like, this is kick ass. Then I'm watching YouTube going down these rabbit holes. I go back to the hobby shop like a week later, not even, and I buy the biggest one that they have.
[00:08:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:37] Jordan Harbinger: Huge, weighs like 30 pounds. You know, it takes these batteries that can explode if you don't charge them properly. I mean, just awesome. I'm like super into it and there's this huge hobby scene. Jayden and I are outside every day at the park doing jumps and running these things through the mud. It's just really, really fun. So I recommend it. Because people will go, "What kind of hobby should I pick? I don't understand." Find something you loved as a kid that maybe you couldn't afford and now maybe you can. You know, if you like Legos, but you couldn't get the pirate ship, go to the Lego store. Grab something. Think of it like a puzzle. You don't have to have kids to enjoy this stuff. I really do think that there's some benefit to picking up something small, some small hobby that you really get into, or even just medium get into because it'll open your mind up about the world. It'll open your mind up about not thinking about work all the time. There's just huge benefits to this, and I think a lot of us have ditched our hobbies in favor of workaholism. I know, I sure have. And I highly recommend people just to stop doing that to themselves here this year, especially because we might be heading into a recession. It's real easy to just worry all the time.
[00:09:39] Last bit of housekeeping here. We have a new ads platform and it appears to be inserting some ads that I have not approved. Someone said they heard a gambling ad on the show, so if you hear something like this, please let me know. Unfortunately, these ads are inserted via computer server. I can't go and listen to it on my own. It'll insert a different ad depending on where you live and all that stuff. I have to take your word for it. But if you know where the company is or what the company name is, I can block them. Same thing for any ad on the show. If you hear something sketchy, you hear something weird. That's not in my voice. If it's in my voice, I know about it. If it's not in my voice, I don't know about it, and I want you to report those to me if they're really gross advertisers. This happens both inside and outside of the United States. In fact, the initial complaint came from a listener in Australia. And by the way, I love that you all are so protective of the show. It's really helpful. I really appreciate you guys for it.
[00:10:26] All right, long-ass intro. Hopefully, there was some value in there. Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:10:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I'm an adopted middle child and was treated as such by both my adopted mother and her family. She would tell me that if it weren't for her, I would be dead. She also put me in headlocks when I was a kid and held knives to my throat.
[00:10:46] Jordan Harbinger: What?
[00:10:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Saying she would kill me.
[00:10:48] Jordan Harbinger: Jesus.
[00:10:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: As time went on, her narcissistic attitude made me completely mute and afraid of her, and I would only speak in a quiet tone and only when asked. She was also very homophobic, even though her gay friends would babysit us every so often. She even pulled me out of my Year 6 Concert because she said the song was for, quote-unquote, "faggots and poofters."
[00:11:08] Jordan Harbinger: Oof.
[00:11:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's a word you don't hear very often.
[00:11:10] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:11:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: The F word, you still here, but proofter is such an old timey.
[00:11:14] Jordan Harbinger: That sounds like some sort of '70s thing.
[00:11:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: I feel like it's like a '70s or '80s slur for gay people. It's so weird to hear that.
[00:11:20] Jordan Harbinger: Oof. Yeah. But also this person is nuts. Wow.
[00:11:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, she has a piece of work. Okay.
[00:11:25] I used to go to school every day and hang off the balcony and tell myself not to let go, even though the kids at the bottom watching me would tell me to let go.
[00:11:34] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh, this is so heartbreaking and so cruel.
[00:11:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ugh.
[00:11:37] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:11:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: I know. So sad. Okay, continues.
[00:11:41] Eventually, I told my family that I was sexually abused as a child by two different people in the family. Not my adopted mother's gay friends, by the way, but two other people who have wives and kids. When I told her, she said, "If you tell people, what will they think of me?" It was at that point that I lost all sympathy for her. But years later, I felt like I couldn't get rid of her. She would pull me back in telling people to tell me to speak to her because she twisted the facts to make me seem like the bad guy. So I wrote an article about everything I had been through and pointed out her homophobia and my mental health. I now know she wants nothing to do with me, and that's fine. I've gone to meet the Royal Family. I've been published in the New York Times. I've published books. I've even completed my degree at the best university in the country. But I keep it all in the down low because I feel embarrassed to share the good news with my family after writing that article. I didn't say anything about her trying to kill me or the sexual assault, but the whole family hate me for pointing it out. And now everyone knows about the two men. Although no one really makes a fuss about them, they only make a fuss about me. Is it normal for families to exclude someone for pointing out these things? Signed, A Middle Child, A Little Exiled.
[00:12:59] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man. This is quite a story, quite a family to be brought into. I'm almost at a loss for words here, Gabe. It's just hard for me to imagine a mother this cruel, this woman is almost cartoonishly evil.
[00:13:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's also hard to wrap your head around the idea that somebody would want to adopt a child and then turn around and treat them this way.
[00:13:18] Jordan Harbinger: Well, yeah, that's the thing. Adoption is such an amazing thing to do, right? But then you abuse your adopted child and ignore them when they tell you that something awful happened to them and use them to prop yourself up which yeah, okay, sounds like pretty textbook narcissism on top with some really other awful stuff. I don't know, it's just—
[00:13:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:13:37] Jordan Harbinger: It's interesting that such a cruel person could do something as noble as adopt a child, but obviously bad people can do seemingly good things in this case, I think do supposedly good things for their own creepy freaking purposes.
[00:13:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:13:50] Jordan Harbinger: Who knows what's really going on with this woman? She sounds like a very sad, complicated case.
[00:13:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, putting aside the objectively horrific stuff she did, she sounds very confused. I mean, a homophobe with gay friends who lets them babysit her kids. Like what?
[00:14:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. The woman, she's mental, clearly incapable of any kind of integrity or self-reflection. It's pretty wild and I am so sorry that you've been through all this. It's not easy to grow up with an abusive mentally ill parent like this, obviously. And then to be bullied at school and sexually abused by two different people and to not be cared for by the one person who should actually be caring for you and to have her actually shut you down, because talking about it makes her look bad. I mean, this is just—
[00:14:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ugh.
[00:14:33] Jordan Harbinger: —really traumatizing stuff, and my heart goes out to you, man. It really does. And yet, Gabe, look at how much this guy has managed to accomplish in his life. It's pretty impressive.
[00:14:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was about to say, it is extraordinary. This dude is writing for one of the biggest newspapers in the world. He's publishing books, he's having tea sandwiches with Prince Charles.
[00:14:52] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is a very impressive guy.
[00:14:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I'm actually blown away that somebody who has ground down and tormented as a kid has gone on to have such an illustrious career and a strong voice too. At least, literarily, right?
[00:15:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:15:05] Jordan Harbinger: His childhood clearly did a number on him. But he's still participating in the world, chasing after big goals. He just must have a ton of grit and courage, and I want to appreciate that because I think that speaks to this guy's remarkable personality and resilience.
[00:15:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Absolutely. Yes, absolutely. Although what I find so heartbreaking is that that same impressive guy can still feel so powerless when it comes to his mother. Like he said, he felt he couldn't get rid of her. I think that speaks to how profound the relationship with the mother is, even if it's a terrible mother.
[00:15:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. But also how effective narcissists really are at keeping people in their orbit, mother or no.
[00:15:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm. Right. Yeah. He can kick it with a queen, but he can't tell his crazy self-obsessed mom to F off.
[00:15:46] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. There's—
[00:15:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good point.
[00:15:47] Jordan Harbinger: —still some kind of connective tissue between him and his mom.
[00:15:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:15:52] Jordan Harbinger: And that's just making it hard for him to fully separate, which. All parents, even healthy ones, we carry them inside of us, right? We're always connected to them, but with a malignant, manipulative, narcissistic parent like this, that connective tissue is usually a lot stronger and it's trickier to untangle because it's actually, instead of being this healthy bird's nest for you to take off into life, it's more like a restraint.
[00:16:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. So, what is that connective tissue, do you think? Is it guilt?
[00:16:20] Jordan Harbinger: I'm sure that's a big one. It could also be a sense of loyalty towards this woman, despite everything that she's done. It could be some residual love. As strange as that sounds. I mean, she did adopt him. He did grow up with her. People love horrible people all the time. It's a tale as old as time.
[00:16:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:16:35] Jordan Harbinger: It could also be fear. You know, he's an adult, but there might be a part of them that's still terrified of this woman. She freaking held a knife to his throat. She threatened to kill him when he was a kid.
[00:16:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. At a vulnerable age.
[00:16:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. There's a lot of that.
[00:16:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: That also makes me wonder if maybe there's. An unconscious wish on some level to keep the door open with her, because if he does, maybe things could go differently next time.
[00:16:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's interesting. Like, he can rewrite the script somehow.
[00:17:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: I might be assuming a few things, but he could be reenacting the trauma of their relationship because reenacting it for many victims, that can be a way to cope with it and to sort of master it. Like, "If I go back into the lion's den and I talk to mom again, maybe this time I can beat her at this game," or, "I can re-experience the wound, but I can experience it in a different way."
[00:17:21] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Or I can just go through it and survive and that'll make me feel like I'm more in control.
[00:17:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, yes. Very common.
[00:17:28] Jordan Harbinger: Fascinating. I could see that. So look, you're asking this question — is it normal for families to exclude somebody for pointing out the terrible things that they did? And I imagine the answer is sadly yes. It probably happens a lot. It's not normal in the sense that it's okay or healthy, but yeah, I have to imagine it happens pretty frequently because many families can't or don't want to acknowledge that something awful has happened and that is heartbreaking.
[00:17:55] But I know that's not your real question here, man. The real question is, what do I do about this mom? And my blunt advice, if I may be so bold, is, first of all, I think you need to take some real space from this family for a while. Definitely your mom, maybe also these extended family members, whoever's doing this to you, even if these folks aren't actively hurting you, they're very much missing the point and they're reinforcing the pain that your mother continues to create for you. And it just sounds to me like you need to pull back. You need to work through this childhood of yours.
[00:18:29] I hope you're in therapy, obviously. But if you're not, I would get there immediately and I would start talking about all of this. Top of the agenda here is mom, of course, ad it is in every therapy session ever, probably. But mom, what she did to you, how that's showing up in your life now, how she keeps roping you in, how you feel about her these days, how to manage that relationship. But there's also so much around that relationship, the sexual abuse—
[00:18:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:18:54] Jordan Harbinger: —the bullying that middle child feeling you mentioned, which you don't need me to tell you, these are profound wounds. I would love for you to have the support to work through them. And yeah, it'll be pretty hard sometimes, but I'm sure it'll bring a lot of catharsis and clarity to this question about how to relate to your mother. But listen, man, I just got to say this out loud. This woman is a monster. We know this, right? She's deeply troubled. She abused you, she neglected you, she diminished you. She dominated you, she controlled you. She's still controlling you. She is not well. And I know how painful it is to. Tell your own parent even a horrible freaking parent, "Hey, I'm sorry I can't talk to you for a while." It's up there with the hardest conversations in life, but honestly, after what she put you through, I do not feel that you owe this woman very much if anything.
[00:19:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Certainly not a relationship at your own expense.
[00:19:46] Jordan Harbinger: Definitely not. So taking this space for yourself, I think that might also be a huge relief. It'll give you the mental and emotional space to sort through all of this, and it'll give you the perspective and the piece you need to find out what life is like, yeah, when she's not trying to get her claws into you again. And I'm not saying you have to never talk to her again. That's for you to decide. And that all depends on how she responds. But while you sort through all this, and as long as her presence in your life creates more pain, I do think that would be helpful.
[00:20:17] And a huge silver lining. Is that you have a ton of inner resources to work with. You're resilient as hell, you're insightful, you're sensitive, you're ambitious. You know you deserve better and those qualities will be huge assets as you work through this. This woman doesn't deserve a son like you. I'm sorry if that sounds a little cheesy. I really mean that. She just doesn't. We're sending you a big hug, man. We're wishing you all the best. It sounds like you've got a great life, but you do need to sort this out or it's always going to nag at you.
[00:20:46] Well, you know, who won't drive you to write an op-ed about all the terrible life-altering things they've done? The amazing sponsors who support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:20:57] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help. Hey, if you're going through a tough time, please know that you are not alone. You don't have to deal with it on your own either. If you're thinking of giving therapy a try, Better Help really is a great option. It's convenient, it's affordable, it's flexible, it's online. You don't have to drive. You don't have to park. They've got great ratings with our iPhone app. Go ahead and have a look. If you're skeptical. The app's got a journaling feature. You can text your therapist in there. I know I've said don't vent to your friends. You can vent to your friends. Just don't only vent to your friends. I think that can damage relationships with those people and sometimes, I don't know, I don't, one of my friends, knowing all the gross stuff that might be happening in my life at any given time. Therapy's vulnerable work. You want to be able to sort of just emotionally vomit on a therapist. Am I wrong? Anyway, you can switch therapists whenever you want, such as if you can't face the person again after the last session, or if you just don't click. Choose from email, chat, phone, or video sessions. For me, again, I'd like to go out, go for a walk, get some private time, talk on the phone. I don't want to sit there on Zoom. I don't want to write a book. I certainly don't want to drive across town park in a parking structure and walk to a therapist's office, especially if it's raining, cold, hot there, there's oxygen outside. I don't need any of that. Take this little spiel as a sign to give therapy a try.
[00:22:07] Jen Harbinger: If you want to live a more empowered life, therapy can get you there. Visit betterhelp.com/jordan to get 10 percent off your first month. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:22:19] Jordan Harbinger: A lot of people ask me how I'm able to stick to my fitness routine, especially since I have such a bananas schedule. For me, it's really creating a routine that is sustainable and can be duplicated on an ongoing basis. Consistency is the key, right? And Peloton helps me have a sustainable fitness routine because there are thousands of classes to choose from. It's also 24/7. I've always got time for it. I might only have 15 minutes in between calls, but I can still fit in a Peloton class. Peloton is really famous for their bikes, but they also make a top-notch rowing machine that stores upright, which you think no big deal, but when you try to have a rower on the floor, you'll be so glad this thing goes upright. If you're a newbie to rowing, the Peloton Row has sensors that can track your movements, that shows you how your form is doing, and it warns you if you're doing something wrong that could injure you or whatever. And right now is the perfect time to get rowing. With Peloton Row, we can promise you've never rowed like this before. Peloton Row offers a variety of classes for all levels and game-changing features that help you get rowing or advance what you can already do. Explore Peloton Row and financing options at onepeloton.com/row.
[00:23:20] Thank you for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps the lights on around here. All the deals, all the discount codes are all searchable in one place. jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also search for sponsors using the search box on the website as well. So please consider supporting those who support the show.
[00:23:37] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:23:41] All right, what's next?
[00:23:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I'm currently in a doctoral physical therapy program after working as a physical therapy assistant for the last 10 years. I've been doing as much training in the physical therapy field that I could afford for the last decade to differentiate myself over 295 hours of continuing education. This week, one of the faculty members informed me that I'm not well liked among my classmates. She told me that they view me as an arrogant, know-it-all, who tries to one up people. I actually think that's a fair assessment. I'll admit that I've been a bit of a bragger, but I didn't realize my behavior was so toxic. I have a thirst for knowledge. I want to better myself, and I find myself bored with the entry-level information we're going over. So I answer questions so we can just get done with the material and move on. I've begun apologizing to some of my classmates, but there are 96 students in my class, so I can't exactly go around like Billy Madison apologizing to everybody I've wronged, especially when I didn't realize I was that offensive. Also, I'm 37 and most of the students in the class are 24 or 25, so finding common ground is difficult. My concern now is that I'll become so unpopular that the university will ask me to withdraw for failure to mesh with the other students. At this point, I'd prefer to just stop participating and blend into the scenery until I disappear from people's memory. Can the university legally ask me to unenroll if I'm not a good fit? How can I turn this around and just finish the program so I can get on with my life? Signed, A Physical Therapist Putting His Reputation Back in Alignment.
[00:25:19] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, interesting situation. You know, getting a piece of feedback like this, especially when it's about your personality, how you come across to other people, ugh, it's really difficult. It can shake you up. It can make you kind of paranoid. I get why this note has been a little hard to integrate. I definitely have faced similar situations in the past as well, but also to be fair to you, you're a decade-plus older than your peers in this program. You've put in a ton of work. You're much further along than most of them. And I imagine that can be kind of frustrating sometimes. You're bored a little bit. You're eager to learn, you want to move quickly. I can understand that. But in the process of doing that, you've rubbed people the wrong way. So this professor of yours actually did you a huge favor.
[00:26:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:26:03] Jordan Harbinger: She helped you see yourself in a way that'll shape the rest of your career, probably even your life, which I think is pretty amazing. So, just to get your biggest fear out of the way here. No, I seriously doubt the university is going to ask you to leave because of this. You can't get kicked out of a program for being an arrogant know-it-all, or even a complete a-h*le most of the time. if you could, like half of all law students wouldn't make it two weeks before getting the boot. So I really wouldn't stay up at night worrying about that. And I say law students because I went to law school. Everybody who's been in any college program or grad program is like, definitely can't kick out the a-h*les and they're thinking of 20 people in their class of a hundred that are just complete knucklehead a-h*les. So I really wouldn't lose any sleep over this.
[00:26:47] If you are losing sleep over this, crack open your university's code of ethics. Read up on what kinds of stuff gets you kicked out. It's going to be stuff like cheating on an exam, being abusive, stealing, stuff like that, not raising your hand a lot and maybe being a little bit of a smart ass in group work assignments, okay? But the fact that you're so worried that it might happen, I, it's interesting. I think that speaks to how, how jarring this feedback was and ultimately how true it was, maybe.
[00:27:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. But also how scary it is to feel like you're on the outs.
[00:27:19] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:27:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. That hooks into a very primal fear. The fear of being like shunned by the tribe, right? It's kind of our worst nightmare.
[00:27:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's what all humans fear on some level, and it can really send you into a panic even if the fear is unfounded.
[00:27:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:27:34] Jordan Harbinger: So here's my advice. Yes. Apologize to your peers if appropriate, especially if you did anything in particular to these individuals. A good apology really does go a long way. We actually talked about what makes an apology a good apology on a past Feedback Friday. You might want to give that a listen. That was episode 738 and we will link to that in the show notes. And also at some point, we'll have an AI bot, a chatbot that you can ask questions like, how do I give a good apology?
[00:27:59] And it'll return results from the show. It may be up already by the time you listen to this. We've been days away from launch for a few weeks now. The chatbot will be on the website. You'll be able to see it right at the top nav or something like that when we get it. It'll probably be at jordanharbinger.com/ai. TBD on all that.
[00:28:15] But even more important than apologizing is changing, behaving differently, treating people better, approaching your program and your peers in a new way. If you stop raising your hand so often, if you let your peers catch up to where you are, if you don't try to flex on everyone all the time, people will notice that and they'll realize that you've learned something and that you're willing to grow. And they'll appreciate that and they'll probably start responding to you in a very different way.
[00:28:42] In my experience, that is much more impactful than going around saying, I'm sorry to everybody in the whole damn class. Actions speak louder than words, or in your case, it may be fewer actions.
[00:28:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Fewer actions?
[00:28:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:28:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Agreed completely. But in the bigger picture, I also think this is a chance to really shift your perspective here. You've been trying to race through the material to get to the stuff you don't know, which again, I can totally appreciate. I understand your ambition and I respect it, but if you just slow down a little bit, if you ease up on the impulse to prove how much you know all the time. If you spend a little more time thinking about your peers and their process and how they're developing, you might actually have a whole new experience of your program. You might realize that you don't know the material as well as you thought, and there's still more to learn, or you might appreciate what you already know in a new way, just by slowing down, going deeper. Or you might find out what happens when you stop trying to get to the next thing and just listen. and that's. A different type of learning. It's not as, you know, acquisitive and broad. It's deeper, it's more patient. It'll probably involve building better relationships with your peers, which is also very important. And that's even more valuable than being the smartest dude in the room all the time.
[00:29:57] Jordan Harbinger: Great point. Because being smart, it's not the only good mark of a great physical therapist, right?
[00:30:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:30:01] Jordan Harbinger: He also has to be great with patience. He has to be collaborative, he's got to be outgoing at least a little bit. He's got to be willing to grow, to learn, to see things in new ways, and this is a chance for him to develop those qualities too.
[00:30:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:14] Jordan Harbinger: So I totally understand your impulse to blend into the scenery and become furniture until you just vanish from people's memory. That's the natural response to being embarrassed. But I would actually do the opposite. I would lean in, not lean in by talking more, but by engaging sincerely and respectfully with your classmates and your professors, and showing them and showing yourself that you're willing to try things in a new way.
[00:30:37] And if you do that, I think you'll be amazed by how quickly you can rewrite your reputation. You've got the goods. Now, you just have to balance them with your interpersonal skills. I know this is painful, but it doesn't have to be fatal. It can just be the beginning of a new phase in your development. So hey, that's what school's for. Stay open to that and good luck.
[00:30:56] You can reach us at friday@ jordanharbinger.com. Keep your emails concise. Use a descriptive subject line. Don't write Feedback Friday in the subject, please. Well, you can, but put something else in there too. If there's anything you're going through, a big decision that you're wrestling with or you need a new perspective on stuff, life, love, work. What to do if you're afraid of being shot by a crazy family member at your mother-in-law's funeral? Whatever has got you staying up at night lately, hit us up firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:31:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: By the way, Jordan, quick update on that. They did go to the funeral.
[00:31:30] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, they did go to the funeral.
[00:31:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: I just want everyone to know.
[00:31:33] Jordan Harbinger: And did they get shot? Do we know?
[00:31:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: As far as I know, nobody got shot and I don't believe they had to wear bulletproof vest.
[00:31:40] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, good. Yeah. Good news there. All right. What's next?
[00:31:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabriel, I'm a recently engaged 27-year-old in a long-distance relationship. Before dating, my fiance and I were strictly friends for several months. During that time, I learned a lot about him, including the fact that he has had over 150 sexual partners. He also admitted to cheating on a previous partner and even convincing another woman to cheat on her boyfriend with him. We've had numerous conversations and arguments about how his behavior in his previous relationships makes me uncomfortable. I've always struggled to believe that out of 150-plus people whom he alleges, he had genuine connections with that I am the one. I recognize that my own insecurities prevent me from accepting his past. I've been cheated on multiple times by multiple partners before. We also both travel a lot for work, and he constantly talks about female friends he wants to catch up with over drinks or dinner, wherever he travels. I often wonder if these are women he used to be intimate with. Sometimes I even ask. That said, he's gone out of his way to try to ease my mind. He's unfollowed people from social media, he's ignored messages from previous partners, and he's been transparent with me when they message him. Still, I can't help but wonder if I can trust him. Do you have any advice on how I can move forward in this relationship without feeling haunted by his past? Can people really change? Am I self-sabotaging or am I protecting myself? Signed, I Got 99 Problems, But Apparently, I'm The One.
[00:33:14] Jordan Harbinger: More like 150 problems. Am I right? ? So this is a really fascinating relationship. First of all, I got to say you're being extremely open and self-aware about all this. I really appreciate how curious you are about these feelings and it sounds like you're doing a great job of trying to separate your stuff from your fiance's stuff, and I think that's terrific. Seriously, great mindset to have.
[00:33:37] So, look, we could dissect this for hours, but I'll try to get to the point. You're afraid that your fiance might cheat on you. You've been cheated on in the past multiple times. He has a busy past, a very busy past. I'm not going to judge him for his body count here. The number alone doesn't necessarily imply anything, although 150 certainly is up there. It does make me a little curious about his romantic patterns.
[00:34:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:34:00] Jordan Harbinger: But we can put that aside for now. He's cheated on a previous partner. He encouraged somebody else to cheat on her partner. You're long distance and you both travel. So theoretically, there's ample opportunity to cheat again. So this infidelity theme is obviously very charged for you and this fear, it's not entirely unwarranted. At the same time, it sounds like your boyfriend is playing pretty fair here. He's unfollowing people. He's ignoring messages from other women. He's letting you know when they reach out. He's also literally telling you when he plans to catch up with female friends. He's not meeting them on the sly when he is got a four-hour layover in Denver or whatever.
[00:34:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Denver, such a cheating city. Is it not?
[00:34:40] Jordan Harbinger: Everybody banging in Denver, in the airport bathroom. I don't know. It doesn't sound — gross, especially in airport bathroom, like, ugh, gross. This doesn't sound like typical cheating behavior to me. This sounds like a guy who's being pretty respectful of your feelings and he is doing the right thing by saying, "Hey, when I'm in Chicago, I'm going to grab a drink with Heather. Just want you to know so you don't think I'm hiding anything," assuming he's not, I don't know, having emotional affairs with these women or keeping them on the back burner in case things don't work out with you or paying their rent or something sketchy like that. It all seems pretty legit to me.
[00:35:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:35:14] Jordan Harbinger: Now, the big caveat to all this is the nature and the quality and, yeah, maybe even the quantity of these friendships. Look, if he's spending three nights a week grabbing Moscow mules with multiple other women and talking to them in a way that he doesn't talk to you. Or he's putting himself in a situation where he could cheat or he is just kind of getting off on the possibility of an affair. Yeah, that's a problem. It could be a bigger problem and you guys need to get to the bottom of that. But if these are just legitimate friendships with women and he's being open with you about them, then this could very well be all on the up and up, which means that if you're still struggling to trust him, then that might speak to your stuff, your very normal and very understandable stuff.
[00:35:55] And this is something that you'll need to resolve primarily on your own, at least at first. And by that I mean getting to the root of this fear of being deceived, betrayed, hurt by your partner, exploring this impulse to protect yourself, what you're protecting yourself from, how these past relationships have shaped your feelings about men, how you might be locating some of those earlier experiences in your current relationship. And also to your point, when that impulse to protect yourself might turn into self-sabotage as you put it, or some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. And just to run with that idea for a moment, if you are doing that, what function would that be serving? In other words, when you talk about self-sabotage, what would you hypothetically be sabotaging? Is it your connection to your fiance? Is it your happiness? Is it the vulnerability of deciding to trust him? And if so, why? I know these are very big questions, but if you really sit with those, you talk them out with a few people, maybe even you talk it out with your fiance, I think you'll have a much better handle on whether these feelings and questions you have, whether they're warranted or if they're a reflection of some stuff on your side of the equation that you still have to work through.
[00:37:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree with everything you just said, Jordan. There's just one variable here that I'm not getting a good read on from her letter, which is how does she feel about her fiance, right? Like, how does she feel in the relationship? How does she feel with him? Just on a basic day-to-day level, because I agree this guy is being very open with her. And yes, she might be paranoid that he's going to cheat because of his past and her past, but she might also be paranoid because she's just not sure about this guy.
[00:37:39] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:37:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like when she says she doesn't know if she can trust him, is she saying that because of his history or is she saying that because she just doesn't feel very connected to him? Or she doesn't always feel prioritized by him? Does she have some kind of gut feeling that there's something about him that is remote or unreachable or that he sort of belongs to multiple people in some sense? And is that why she doesn't trust him?
[00:38:02] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, interesting. Okay. I see what you're getting at. Like, it's not because of his past or these other women, it's maybe because of the quality of their relationship.
[00:38:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:38:10] Jordan Harbinger: And her feelings in general.
[00:38:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:38:11] Jordan Harbinger: Because if she knew in her bone, that she was the only woman who mattered to him and that they were strong and connected, it might not bother her that he grabs drinks with an old friend or that he slept with 150 people in the past because she'd know that the relationship is solid.
[00:38:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. That's exactly what I'm getting at. And look, maybe it's just that they're long distance and that makes her feel a little disconnected from him, understandably. This is why long-distance relationships are very hard.
[00:38:36] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:38:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Or maybe it just makes her worried about what might happen when they're not together and that's what's getting to her.
[00:38:42] Jordan Harbinger: True. But you know, even if they are rock solid, it sounds like she's having some trouble accepting his feelings about her.
[00:38:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:38:49] Jordan Harbinger: Because like she said, she's always struggled to believe that out of 150-plus people, she's the one.
[00:38:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:38:54] Jordan Harbinger: And is that because of his body count or is that more — by the way, that's such a weird, funny frat boy term — or is that more of a self-esteem issue on her part?
[00:39:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think that's also a really great question because she could look at that and go, "Yeah, he was with 150-plus people before me, and I'm the one."
[00:39:09] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:39:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right? "He's dated a lot of people. He knows what's out there. He knows what he wants. , he chose me." Or she could look at that as she is and go, "Man, he was with 150 people before me. Why in the world would he settle for me?"
[00:39:22] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:39:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's such an interesting Rorschach test, what you take away from that fact, which confirms again, that at least part of this is on her side of the equation.
[00:39:31] Jordan Harbinger: I do think that it is, uh, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a dance going on between the two of them here.
[00:39:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:39:36] Jordan Harbinger: His stuff is triggering her stuff. Her stuff is soaking into his stuff.
[00:39:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:39:40] Jordan Harbinger: This is a relationship.
[00:39:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:39:41] Jordan Harbinger: But by the way, just circling back to the whole body count thing, if my own experience as any indication, at least 50 to a hundred of the 150 people that dude has been with were probably just low-hanging fruit and he took the opportunity. I know lots of guys who used to really just get after it, especially in college. And there's a very important distinction between 150 relationships, which is kind of impossible, versus 150 people that you did the no-pants dance with on your skanky dorm room futon, okay? The truth is a lot of guys just aren't ready to settle down until they're ready to settle down, and then they do, they settle down. I am one of those guys, so I sort of get where this guy's head might be.
[00:40:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:20] Jordan Harbinger: But I also get why that might seem somewhat suss to his fiance.
[00:40:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I totally hear you. But let us not forget that he told her that most of those people he slept with were genuine connections, right? What does that mean?
[00:40:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I mean, what else is he going to say? "Yeah, I screwed anything that moves, but no, I don't do that anymore."
[00:40:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. So you're saying he said that to make it sound better, like it wasn't just that I was getting—
[00:40:46] Jordan Harbinger: I think so.
[00:40:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Like anything — okay.
[00:40:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. He doesn't want us to be like, "I used to be kind of a man whore and now I have to sort of whitewash that and be like, 'No, I really liked all of them.'"
[00:40:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: So he is like, "No, I really cared about all of them." Okay. Yeah.
[00:40:57] Jordan Harbinger: And then it's like, "Oh, actually that's even worse than just blindly getting too drunk at a college party and hooking up."
[00:41:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: However, I also wonder if he did on some level, have some genuine connections with them, and that is also what worries her because she's looking at his past and she's like, "Wait, you slept with over 150 people that you actually cared for." Does that speak to the thing we were just talking about where maybe she feels like he's available or connected to many other women, even if he's only with her? And maybe that's what doesn't sit right.
[00:41:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Well, I suppose, well, we can speculate a lot on this, but anyway, like I said, if there's more going on here, if he, I don't know, has a sex addiction or just loves the attention or he is playing in a weird gray area with these women, or he's prioritizing them over his fiance regularly, then that is an issue. So I'm not saying, "This is all in your head. You need to get over this." I'm saying, let's appreciate what your fiance's past and behavior are bringing up for you and what you do with that. And then you can decide whether you're right or wrong and who needs to change and what they need to change.
[00:42:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right, right.
[00:42:03] Jordan Harbinger: [Hobnob P] There's another one of those — this phrase is definitely dead once I start using it.
[00:42:10] Soundbite: How do you do fellow kids? What? [30 Rock]
[00:42:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: This never gets old, that clip. I love that.
[00:42:15] Jordan Harbinger: No, no. But seriously, this would be such a great thing to bring into couples therapy because it's a very rich. How you guys communicate about all this, how you relate to each other, that's the key to resolving this. And my strong recommendation is to do that before you get married. If you do this together and it goes well, you guys will get a lot closer. It'll make your marriage much more successful. You don't want to sweep this under the rug until it detonates nine months into your marriage. You guys need to explore all of this now, and I know it's uncomfortable, but it actually is a great opportunity to understand yourself and your relationship a whole lot better. So get to introspecting, get to talking, figure out what's your stuff and what's his stuff, and what these relationships are about, and I'm sure you're going to get more clarity on what's really causing this anxiety and good luck.
[00:43:04] You know what else you're going to want on that skanky dorm room futon? Something from the amazing sponsors who support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:43:14] This episode is sponsored in part by Peloton. In the past couple years, I've been paying a lot closer attention to my health and, well, I had a little — I couldn't get up off the freaking floor to play with my kid, let alone get down on the floor to play with Jayden, and that sort of freaked me out. I wanted to become more active. My job doesn't, you know, this doesn't require a lot of movement other than yapping into a microphone. So I started reading and walking, but it started to get really tricky for me because I'm often back to back on calls or reading, researching, preparing for the next interview. I don't want to spend time getting in a car looking for parking, just to get movement in. Time is so precious. I'd rather save that commute time to spend with my family and friends. That is one of the reasons why I love Peloton. It's convenient. They make top-notch products. Of course, you've no peloton for the bike. It's kind of almost synonymous with the bike. We have one of those, but they also have an incredible rowing machine. It's relatively new. Rowing is great for a full-body workout. Really good for improving your cardiovascular endurance without doing a whole lot of "bad for your knees" kind of stuff. I love that I can get my heart pumping in the morning before the kids wake up. I can also get a quick class in if somebody cancels a call. Look, 15 minutes is all you need. 30 minutes is better. Let's be honest. I love that with Peloton you can also lean on the power of community. I kind of thought, I'm not going to lie, sort of thought it was dumb initially. I don't want to take workout classes at home and then see other people, but I actually really enjoyed that. A lot of people say they like going to workout at clubs because there's other people there that keep you motivated. I mostly ignore other people at the gym by design, on purpose. But with Peloton, you can see who's in class with you do virtual high fives with each other. It's actually kind of the best stuff about working out with other people without them sweating all over you slash the equipment and then not freaking cleaning it. You know who you are. The instructors are always really engaging. They might even call you out during a live class, which is surprisingly kind of fun. They really have that community element nailed. You can add friends, you can be competitive if you want to. There's leaderboards, there's all that stuff. It's really addicting. They gamified it, they got it right, and it's a really supportive place that keeps you motivated, especially when you feel maybe like you're working out in vain, trying to get over the hump of the first few days or weeks of any new routine. So I think the community element here is really a great motivational tool to keep up with your 2023 fitness goal. And Peloton really did nail this, and I think that's one of the reasons the company does so well and is so praised and valued by the market. And also by the way, the Peloton Row takes up very little space. You can store it upright, which like, how does every rower not do that, by the way? And right now is the perfect time to get rowing with Peloton Row. You've never rowed like this before. We can promise you that. Peloton Row offers a variety of classes for all levels in game-changing features that help you get rowing or advance what you already do. Explore Peloton Row and their financing options at onepeloton.com/row.
[00:45:52] This episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show is brought to you by Nissan. As a pioneer in the electric vehicle space, Nissan is always looking for ways to deliver new, meaningful technology to EV owners. After all, Nissan has been making EVs since 1947 and their EVs have now traveled eight billion miles by Nissan LEAF owners since 2010, eight billion miles. That's the equivalent of driving to Pluto and back. I guess it, I don't know, doesn't matter if it's a planet, maybe when we're doing this. Think that's electrifying? One of their EVs tracked all the way to the North Pole, and Nissan even tests their EV technology on the Formula E racetrack. But Nissan knows you can't get an EV just for the E. You get a Nissan EV because it makes you feel electric, because it sparks your imagination. It ignites something within you. It pins you to your seat, takes your breath away. At least that's what Nissan thinks about when they're designing their EVs, like the Nissan ARIYA and the Nissan LEAF. It's about creating a thrilling design that electrifies its customer. I like Nissan's. Focus on creating a thrilling drive and electrifying life. In today's world, it's so important to look around you, pay attention, look for all the tiny ways that life can electrify you. For me, that's reading an audiobook outside and preparing for this show. Nissan, EVs that electrify.
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[00:47:38] If you like this episode of Feedback Friday and you found our advice valuable, I invite you to do what other smart and considerate listeners do, which is take a moment and support our amazing sponsors. All of the deals and discount codes are all in one place. jordanharbinger.com/deals is where you can find it. You can also search for any sponsor using the search box on the website as well. Thank you so much for supporting those who support us.
[00:48:00] All right, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:48:03] What's next?
[00:48:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I was diagnosed with clinical depression eight years ago and have been on meds and in and out of therapy. I still have depressive episodes now and again, but they usually last a day or two and are pretty manageable. However, I had one such episode last me a couple of weeks this month. I couldn't get out of bed, barely ate one meal a day and completely ignored my responsibilities. Eventually, I was able to claw my way out and I have appointments set up with a therapist and a psychiatrist. The biggest problem I have now is with my work-from-home sales job, which I started a few months ago. I like this job and I see this as the start of a successful career, but I completely neglected it and my numbers reflect that. My manager was unhappy with my numbers last month, but he didn't press the issue because I'm still new. But with this month's number as being just as much of a disaster, he won't be happy again. And he said that I won't be around for longer if my numbers are this low. I don't want to be fired. But I also don't want to use my depression as an excuse for my abysmal performance. How can I explain what happened without it looking like I'm coming up with excuses? And how do I convey that I want to stay and succeed in this position? Signed, Staying Out of Double Trouble As I Deal With the Mubble Fubbles.
[00:49:20] Jordan Harbinger: Did you say mubble fubbles? Is that real? Did you make that up? ? What is that?
[00:49:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, it means like the blues, the blahs depression. It's a really good word, right?
[00:49:28] Jordan Harbinger: I've never heard of that mubble fubbles. Yeah. It's fun to say.
[00:49:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:49:31] Jordan Harbinger: Mubble fubbles. I've never really, I guess I've never heard that before.
[00:49:34] Well, listen, I'm really sorry to hear that. You've been struggling with the mubble fubbles. As many people do. Depression can be — it's a laughing matter now. Depression can be, obviously, very debilitating. It can be super isolating. It can create a lot of anxiety and shame when your performance at work takes a hit. I totally understand that. But I got to say, you're doing so many things right here. You're doing so many things right. You found the resources you need. You've landed a job you really like. Even now when you're struggling a bit, you've reached out to us for help. Not always easy to do that kind of and you're not using the depression to justify a less than great performance. You're giving yourself some grace here, cool. But you're also not letting yourself off the hook. And again, that's a very mature mindset and I want to give you props here for that.
[00:50:18] So here's what I'm thinking. Since you're new at this job and since it can be a little tricky to tell a boss, especially a new boss, "Hey, I'm so depressed. I can barely pour myself a bowl of Cap'n Crunch, let alone hit my sales targets." I would keep your explanation brief, and I would keep it focused on your performance rather than the cause. You might want to grab 10 minutes with your boss and say, "Hey, listen, I know the last couple months haven't been my best. I've been struggling to hit my targets. Candidly, I've been going through a bit of a tough time. We don't need to get into that. I just want to let you know what's going on. I am also disappointed by my numbers. I'm sure you are as well. I just want to say that I really love working here. I want to crush it. I see myself here long term, so please don't take my latest numbers as a reflection of my feelings for this job. I'm on it and I intend to turn the ship around next month," something like that. Your goal should be to acknowledge what's going on without tipping over into excuses or justifications. All you need to communicate is, "Hey, we're on the same page. Thank you for giving me a little wiggle room to get my house in order. Please have some faith in me." Now, that's the language that'll buy you some time after that, of course, you got to live up to those words.
[00:51:27] So the real question is how to continue performing well when you're struggling with depression, and let's just acknowledge that can be really hard. Being depressed makes it tough to stay connected to your goals, to have the energy, to pick up the phone, to visit customers, chase down leads, take care of yourself in all these other areas of your life. It's debilitating. I am not going to minimize that, but you have so many of these pieces in place, and you've gone through these dips before and you made it out so you know that these periods are temporary.
[00:51:59] So what I would do is come up with a system for taking care of your life, even when you are feeling blue. And that system looks different for different people, but for you, it'll probably mean a few things. First off, come up with a set of habits and processes that'll service your goals even when you don't, quote-unquote, feel like it. So maybe that means automating and scheduling your customer outreach emails. Maybe that means calendaring your sales calls and committing to just getting through those calls even if you're not hitting on all cylinders. Maybe it means scheduling a check-in with your boss every two weeks to see how your numbers are looking. Keep yourself in the game, so to speak. Maybe it means finding one or two coworkers that you vibe with, people you like and hopefully trust to keep yourself accountable to your goals.
[00:52:42] Ugh, and I know the word accountable. It's a little annoying. I'm not a fan of it either, but this stuff works. We don't even have to call it accountable. Let's just call it connected then. When you're having an off week, you can go pick up the phone or grab lunch with a colleague and go, "Man, I am struggling this week. I could use a little help." And then you can invite them to give you a dose of encouragement or some advice or a little sales support or even just a friendly ear so you can keep going. And I would offer to do the same thing for them. By the way, that's another great antidote to depression, going deeper into your relationships. I don't know about you, but when I felt really down in the past, it was often because I felt kind of useless, disconnected, isolated. And deliberately investing into your relationships that really keeps you feeling like you have a purpose and a role in other people's lives and vice versa.
[00:53:33] And then there's all the other obvious stuff. I'm not going to go all life coach on you here, but getting good sleep, exercising regularly, taking your medication, seeing your therapist regularly, avoiding alcohol and crappy food, answering your text messages, making time to go outside, doing one or two things that give you joy. All of that, I'm sure you already know this, but it's really important to stick to these simple habits, especially when you feel yourself entering a dip. And by the way, I do all this myself, even when I'm not down. In fact, this is how I manage to avoid getting down in the first place. I think of it as the architecture that holds all these pieces together that makes my life run.
[00:54:13] And the beautiful thing is if you set it up right, most days, just feel like you're servicing something that was created for you. And you don't have to constantly muster up the energy to do life. You're just doing the things that you set up for yourself in advance, and your life kind of takes care of itself. It's so simple. It definitely works.
[00:54:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: I love that, Jordan. You know, I've also been through some real dips in my life and I know how hard they can be. I really do.
[00:54:35] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:54:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like I feel for this guy. But one of the best things I've learned is to embrace however you're feeling, even when it's pretty sh*tty, and know that you can still show up. Because when I was younger, it's funny, I used to think like, "Oh, I'm sad today. I guess I can't do anything." And then as I worked through some of this stuff and I found a better way of handling my projects, I started to realize that yeah, I can be sad or I can be bored, or I can just be kind of uninspired and I can still do what I have to do.
[00:55:03] Like, look, you can wake up feeling kind of blue one day and you can still call a few customers on the phone. You just call them a little bit blue. You can feel like hitting your sales targets is completely meaningless and still send out 10 emails from a template you created last month. You just email them without any meaning. You don't necessarily need to be in a certain mood to do the thing in front of you.
[00:55:25] Jordan Harbinger: Totally. All you have to do is do the thing that's in front of you.
[00:55:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Literally, oftentimes, all you have to do, and the funny thing is, if you just do that one thing and then you know, you get that little burst of energy, you use it to do one more thing and then one more thing. There's no way you're going to end that day feeling worse than you did at the beginning.
[00:55:43] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Worst case scenario, you feel the exact same except you actually did your job that day. You're making progress.
[00:55:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:55:49] Jordan Harbinger: And you're not freaking out because you're going to get fired in a month, which—
[00:55:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:55:52] Jordan Harbinger: —almost always means you're going to feel better than when the day began.
[00:55:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. And I'd be willing to bet that if you kept showing up, even when you're down, even when you can only give 30 percent, these dips won't be as frequent or as severe, because what you're also doing is you're working with your feelings, you're opening up to other people, you're staying in the game, as opposed to withdrawing and contracting and hiding away, which is what depression really wants to do, and where it thrives.
[00:56:20] If you can do that — look, I'm not saying the depression will completely lift, or that depression is just a matter of showing up every day, and that's all. You know, I understand that these things have deep roots and you should be working on all of that. But if you can do this, it probably won't dictate your whole experience and it probably won't derail your career. And when you realize that you can still perform even when you're down, that'll give you some new confidence and it'll give you a little bit of motivation. And that could also help lift you out of these dips as well. Or at least raise the floor on them a little bit so they don't feel quite so bad.
[00:56:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I like that advice. I definitely agree there. By the way, everything you said applies just as much to feeling angry or scared or bored.
[00:57:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:57:01] Jordan Harbinger: All of those feelings are just feelings.
[00:57:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:57:03] Jordan Harbinger: It's such a great thing to remember. You don't need to feel X way to do Y thing. You could just do the thing and let the feelings be what they are. And nine times out of 10, your actions are going to change your feelings, not the other way around. Actually, I had a boss in the '90s where when somebody came in or wouldn't come in and they said, "I don't feel good," he'd go, "Oh, I don't need you to feel good. I just need you to show up and do your job." And I remember hearing that. I guess he got that from the military or something. And he's like, I remember I had like a fever, and I went in and he's like, "Oh, you really are sick." I was like, "Yeah, I told you I don't feel good." He's like, "Well, you know, you don't need to feel good, but you look like crap. You're going to be a driver today. You're not going to stand in the venue." Because a lot of guys would call in and just be like, "I'm tired. I don't feel good." And he's like, "Yeah, dude, I don't need you." You know, these weren't guys who had real issues like the person writing in, but—
[00:57:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:57:53] Jordan Harbinger: Again, I don't mean to be too flippant about depression. I know the answer to being depressed isn't just like, "Take your colleague to lunch and do pushups and just keep showing up." Sometimes depression can actually be so severe. You can't even do things badly, let alone well. I get it. I mean, there's such, I've got friends where, like, "I was stuck in bed th for three days." That's a thing. Apolo Ohno talked about this on the show, but I do believe that the collection of these habits and systems and mindsets, again, that architecture, that's what makes these periods doable. And if you're having an off day or two, you don't need to hit it out of the park. You just need to stay in the game like Gabe said.
[00:58:30] So yeah, talk to your boss, get that second chance, but more importantly, create that architecture and that scaffolding to live up to that second chance. And if you do that, I'm very confident you're going to get through the dip and probably perform even better than you have in the past. You've got this, man. We're sending you good thoughts, and soon you'll be back in the game and you'll be able to have coffee with the rest of the team. But until then—
[00:58:52] Soundbite: Put that coffee down! Coffee's for closers only. [Glengarry Glen Ross]
[00:58:58] Jordan Harbinger: All right. But don't worry, you'll be a closer yourself soon enough.
[00:59:01] All right, what's next?
[00:59:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm a woman from France, and recently I've noticed a ton of reels on Instagram going viral about Saudi Arabia. Most of them involve female influencers showing a beautiful landscape or resort and encouraging people to visit tagged with hashtag ad or hashtag sponsored and hashtag visit Saudi. The comment section is pretty wild. Most commenters will leave nice comments like, "yes" and "so beautiful," but if you scroll to the bottom, you get the occasional "human rights abuses, no thanks," and, "I can't wear a bikini there," that kind of stuff. Personally, I would not go to Saudi Arabia at this time as a woman and as a Westerner. I know the government may not represent the people, and I have nothing against the country or its people. I'm just uncomfortable with the situation and financially supporting the government, let alone my personal safety. But anytime, I've tried to engage with people in the comments about why I wouldn't go, people fire back with stuff the US and France have. They'll say things like, "Well, the US isn't a good place to visit if you're a woman or a person of color either," or, "Well, I'd never go to France because of what you did to Algeria," as if I'm responsible for the Algerian war. Of course, if you think about all the bad stuff, every country has done, nobody would travel anywhere. Why are influencers all of a sudden promoting tourism to Saudi Arabia, and more importantly, how can I sit with the moral dilemma about visiting countries that are actively committing human rights violations? Signed, Getting a Cramp Over These Passport Stamps.
[01:00:34] Jordan Harbinger: That's an interesting question. So first of all, influencers are promoting tourism to Saudi Arabia because they're being paid for it, plain and simple. There was actually an article about this in the New York Times a few years back. We can link to it in the show notes if we can find it. If I recall correctly, the Ministry of Tourism, basically, invites influencers to visit the country on their dime, and in exchange, they post photos from famous landmarks and beautiful views promoting the country. It's just like any other form of advertising. It's just on Instagram and TikTok where this stuff does really well. And China does a ton of this. In fact, we did a show about this. They'll invite somebody to go to Xinjiang and they're like, "There's no genocide here. Look at me in this market that only has tourists in it, and there's three Chinese people following me with video cameras that I totally am not here with." It's insane.
[01:01:20] Actually, the article talked about this exact thing, the ethical conflicts involved in promoting a country that carries out human rights, abuses, controls its citizens, murders, journalists in foreign countries, and the backlash that influencers get for this kind of stuff, it's tricky territory for sure. But you're right. If you look at all the horrible stuff every country has done, nobody would travel anywhere. I mean, okay, look at the US. Tourists come here all the time. America is held in pretty high regard. We've done some pretty insane stuff as a country, and we still do. I'm not equating the US with Saudi Arabia by any means, but we have to admit that we live in an ethically ambiguous world. And it's not easy to boycott bad countries because the whole world is flawed, and the whole global system is interconnected.
[01:02:05] So there's really no way to avoid supporting evil stuff entirely. I mean, try never buying gas again. Oh, and nothing made from petroleum products like plastic. I mean, that's how you don't support countries like that. Not by not staying at a hotel and taking photos, but I understand. So in my opinion, you can only really do your best to avoid the really awful places and decide where to draw the line for yourself.
[01:02:29] For example, I won't go to China anymore, not just because it's unsafe for me after doing so many episodes about the Chinese Communist Party, but because I don't feel right supporting a country that perpetuates human rights abuses. And I'm thinking about the Uyghur genocide in particular, but there's obviously a ton of terrible stuff that the government perpetuates out there. Again, it's not the people, it's the government, et cetera. But by the same token, I wouldn't, I don't know, hop on a plane to Eritrea to check out their amazing archeology. I mean, I'm happy they allocated an entire coastline as a nature reserve or whatever, and they love to brag about that. But it doesn't feel right to me to support a country that muzzles journalists and disappears citizens who speak out against the regime. But it took me many years and a lot of homework to get to this point.
[01:03:13] It wasn't long ago that Gabe and I were traveling to North Korea. I mean, we only went a few times, but we did run a blog encouraging tourism there, which—
[01:03:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:03:22] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, Gabe, I guess that makes us early travel influencers for the worst country on earth. But you know, they didn't pay us for that by the way. That we did for free, which is even worse somehow.
[01:03:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was about to say, I guess, we were no better than these Instagram models hyping supper clubs in Riyad or whatever.
[01:03:39] Jordan Harbinger: I know, hilarious. I feel like if TikTok were a thing back then when we were doing that, we would've been dragged and rightly so, but we just weren't as thoughtful about this stuff back then. We weren't doing interviews.
[01:03:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[01:03:49] Jordan Harbinger: And reading a ton about these places. I mean, we knew that the place was crazy.
[01:03:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[01:03:53] Jordan Harbinger: But it was more like, "Hey look, we're engaging, we're encouraging people to learn more about other places." And we weren't whitewashing what we saw. I think that was also important.
[01:04:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure. We actually talked about a lot of the dark stuff when we were coming.
[01:04:06] Jordan Harbinger: We did. We talked about a lot of the dark stuff, and you're not allowed to do that when you're invited to Saudi Arabia and they pay for everything. You can't say, "Look at this amazing stadium paid for by migrant labor that's basically treated like slavery. I wonder how many people died building this." You can't do that. We weren't edited by what we were allowed to say about, or in North Korea — after we left, I should say. After we left, we could say whatever we want.
[01:04:30] So I guess on some level I can understand why these young influencers separate politics from travel and money and they just go to have a cool trip and make some dough. It's a business. They're not politicians. I get it. But also if you're taking money from a country, you got to be more thoughtful, in my opinion. It's just no different from me vetting sponsors before we advertise them on the show. I can't promote any products I don't believe in. I turn down a ton of money for stuff I don't like that I wouldn't use myself. So why should influencers promote countries that they would never go to live in? I think that's a fair point. And look, that's my take. Just don't go to these countries, the really bad ones, but also decide for yourself what your standard is, what you consider acceptably bad and what you consider unconscionably bad.
[01:05:15] Unfortunately, you can't avoid supporting some evil practices somewhere in the world these days. I mean, look, you can hop on a flight to say New Zealand and never use anything _____ plastic. Lovely country, famously friendly, famously pretty good about not hurting people. But you know, the Boeing 737 is still going to have parts manufactured in China, jet fuel made from oil in Saudi Arabia, probably. So as sad as it is, you just have to accept that and do your best.
[01:05:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Man, Jordan, we're leaving so much money on the table, not shilling for dictators abroad anymore. It's like really a shame.
[01:05:46] Jordan Harbinger: Tell me about it. How did we not jump on the TikTok wave and become travel influencers for Kim Jong-un when we had the chance? I mean—
[01:05:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: All wrong.
[01:05:53] Jordan Harbinger: We were doing it all wrong. We could go to Belarus and clean out. There's probably not a whole lot of people rolling over to Minsk and hanging out with Lukashenko. Nah, just playing. I'd rather be at home in my new fuzzy [Bombas], reading about horrible things in the Atlantic instead. And by the way, Gabriel, there's the difference here, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it earlier, but the real key here is these travel influencers, they're going to Saudi Arabia and they're not — look, I know people that go to Eritrea and they're like, "Wow, here's a downside, but here's the rest of it and the people are cool." When you are paid by the government tourism bureau to go somewhere, you are not allowed to film and talk about certain things. You can't go to Saudi Arabia and go, "Man, look at these labor violations. Look at how some of the poor people live. Hey, by the way, did you know that they call, MBS Mohammed Bon Saw because he murdered that journalist? This place is, has a lot of contradictions.
[01:06:47] If you are a random tourist and you come to the United States, You can film homeless people and say they got a big homeless problem. Look at this. This is really bad, but I had a lot of fun on my vacation. You are being a mouthpiece for the tourism bureau. You are helping whitewash their reputation. So if you're okay with that and everything is disclosed and you say, "Hey, I got paid to do this and I had fun on my trip, I know there's a lot of sketchy stuff about Saudi Arabia." That's one thing, but you're being, in my opinion, a little bit unethical. If you go there and you're like, "This place is amazing. I'm wearing a bikini on the beach," knowing full well that you're on a tourist beach and that women are in burkas sitting in the sand in a hundred degree heat just around the corner, and you're not allowed to go there and they're not allowed to talk to you.
[01:07:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[01:07:29] Jordan Harbinger: There's just a big difference there, right? When we went to North Korea, and again, you know, we can re-litigate that and justify it, or not all we want, but we went there and we went, we know there's a lot of starvation. We saw malnourished people and soldiers at the tourist attractions. We got some photos of that stuff. . It's really a ton of contradictions. We had an interesting time there.
[01:07:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[01:07:49] Jordan Harbinger: This place is sorely lacking.
[01:07:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[01:07:50] Jordan Harbinger: It's really unfree, you know? But we weren't being paid by Kim Jong-un to be like, "Come here. Look at these water slides and how happy everyone is. We were very honest about that, and you can't do that if you are a mouthpiece for the government as a travel influencer. And that's the big difference.
[01:08:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[01:08:05] Jordan Harbinger: I think that's the difference. You can go be a tourist wherever the hell you want and see whatever you want. But don't lie for the government. Don't lie for the regime. That's my ethical boundary here, and I think that's what this person is saying because these people, these influencers are just taking the check and then saying whatever the government wants.
[01:08:20] I hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week, and everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out Apolo Ohno and Ramy Romany if you haven't yet.
[01:08:30] You want to know how I manage to book all these great people and manage relationships using software, systems, and tiny habits. Our six-Minute Networking course is a free course where I teach you how to do just that. It's over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty. Don't try to build relationships when you need them. Build them beforehand. This takes just a few minutes a day. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. I've been using it for a decade. It's really helped me in my personal and business life. It's been really crucial. In fact, again, free jordanharbinger.com/course.
[01:09:02] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. Advertisers, deals, discount codes, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[01:09:21] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own, and I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer and never was a good lawyer, so do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. And if you found the episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice that we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:09:54] Here's a sample of my interview with Maria Konnikova, who went from being someone who had no interest whatsoever in poker to raking in big bucks as an international poker champion. Here's a quick look inside.
[01:10:06] Maria Konnikova: Poker is actually the perfect game for human decision making because it's a game of incomplete information. No one cares where the hell you went to school. No one cares what you look like. No one cares what you did or didn't do. If you can afford the buy in, great.
[01:10:22] So there are people sitting at the table, some of whom have Ivy League educations, others of whom dropped out of high school and had to wrestle with homelessness and built up their bankroll from $10 and took that $10 and are now millionaires. We make decisions and incorporate things that really shouldn't matter all the time. Like the weather, we don't realize that we're depressed because it's raining outside, and instead we're like, "Oh, life sucks. Everything sucks." But it's so cool that if you draw someone's attention to the reason why they're feeling this way, they're totally capable of discounting it and saying, "Oh, okay, yeah, I'm depressed right now, but it's because of the weather."
[01:11:00] Can you figure out not just your own triggers, but the other person's triggers? Some people when they lose a lot, they're going to become really cautious because they don't want to lose even more. Some people when they lose a lot are going to become extra reckless because they want to gain it back very, very quickly. Same event, totally different reactions. Can I try to figure out what the psychological dynamic for this person is? How do they react to loss? Some people, when they win a lot, they're going to become extra cautious because if now they don't want to lose it, they're like, "Oh, I have all these chips. I want to guard them." Other people, when they win a lot, they're like, "Yeah, let's push my advantage. Let's go."
[01:11:34] If you can start to figure out and pull apart things like that, all of a sudden you have a really good psychological picture of the person and you can take advantage of it. It's really intrigued, man. I thought, let me read more about this poker thing and decided, Hey, you know what? This is my book. Why don't I learn poker? Why don't I. See how far I can go, and I ended up becoming good and winning a major international title and getting a sponsorship from Poker Stars and joining Team Pro and somehow found myself as a professional poker player.
[01:12:06] Jordan Harbinger: For more, including how people make decisions and what poker can tell us about reading human motivation, how to spot real physical tells at the poker table and in real life, and how we can control and prevent emotional thinking AKA going on tilt, check out episode 371 of The Jordan Harbinger Show with Maria Konnikova.
[01:12:27] This episode is sponsored in part by The Hustle Daily Show. The Hustle Daily has more than 2 million young professionals subscribe to its daily email for its great unbiased daily business and tech news. I've been a subscriber for years now, probably like five, six years. I remember when it was really small. My friend Sam founded it, just really crushed it with this. Well, they now have a new daily podcast called The Hustle Daily Show, where their team of writers break down the biggest business headlines in 10 minutes or less and explain why you should care about them. Get your daily dose of valuable knowledge delivered as funny, but true insights. It'll start your day with a smile and keep you on board with what's happening around you. They got the some snark going on in the newsletter, and I assume in the podcast as well. The best part is they break down stories that are actually relevant, like why eggs have gotten so dang expensive at the supermarket, but they also touch on topics you didn't know you would care about at all. Like the strange history of how Ouija Boards came about. Whether you want to stay informed on all things business and tech, or just have an interesting story to share at the dinner table, make sure to check out The Hustle Daily Show. It's offbeat, informative, and best of all, it's daily. If you want to give it a listen, you can search for The Hustle Daily Show in your podcast app like the one you're using right now.
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